Former Iowa Hawkeye and N.F.L. football player Tim Dwight visited the state capitol Wednesday to show support for renewable energy bills. Dwight, an Iowa City native, now owns a small solar energy company in California.
“Renewable energy is here to stay, and it’s something that I think the state of Iowa needs to jump on here,” Dwight says. He says he drove from Iowa City to Des Moines and thought on the way how much energy it takes to grow corn with the, wind, sun and water. Dwight says the state has incredible resources and all it takes are a few incentives to get the renewable projects moving. Dwight says he’s seen the increase in renewable technology in California and says it can also happen here.
He says Iowa and the midwest can be an exporter of renewable energy, there just needs to be a commitment. Dwight says new jobs are created from renewable energy, and he says the investment brings down the cost and a whole new economy is created. Dwight says Iowa needs to get involved as renewable energy is moving ahead worldwide.
“It’s the biggest opportunity, I think, in the history of mankind,” Dwight says. He says he sees the industry on a massive scale, with China investing billions of dollars into it and the builders of modules revving up. Dwight says Iowa needs to look at not only creating jobs to put the renewable energy resources in, but to build them. Dwight says Iowa needs to take advantage of the job creation and production potential that’s out there.
Dwight says you can tell a module manufacturer there are many farmers who want to use their product, but you also want them to build a plant or two to build the modules for the industry here in Iowa and supply the farmers. There are several different bills in the works in the Iowa House and Senate.
One would establish an incentive program for small businesses and families that invest in renewable fuel. Another would allow property owners to buy renewable- energy equipment for their homes and then pay back the investment through their property taxes. Lawmakers are not sure which bills will make it through this year, but say it’s important to start publicizing them and building interest.